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Publication numberUS6666117 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/978,517
Publication dateDec 23, 2003
Filing dateOct 15, 2001
Priority dateJul 13, 2001
Fee statusPaid
Also published asUS20030010162
Publication number09978517, 978517, US 6666117 B2, US 6666117B2, US-B2-6666117, US6666117 B2, US6666117B2
InventorsBobby Hu
Original AssigneeBobby Hu
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wrench with a fixed maximum operational torque
US 6666117 B2
Abstract
A wrench comprises a rod comprising a driving portion for engaging with a fastener, a retainer having an end securely engaged with the rod to move therewith, and a casing comprising a compartment for accommodating the retainer. The casing comprises a retaining section defining a retaining space for retaining the other end of the retainer in place. When a rotational force applied to the casing is smaller than an engaging force between the retaining section of the casing and a retaining device that is attached between the retaining section and the retainer, the retainer and the rod are turned to thereby turn the fastener. When a rotational force applied to the casing is greater than the engaging force, the casing slides while the retainer and the rod are not turned.
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Claims(20)
What is claimed is:
1. A wrench comprising:
a rod comprising a driving portion on an end thereof for engaging with a fastener;
a retainer having a first end securely engaged with the rod to move therewith and a second end;
a casing comprising a compartment for accommodating the retainer, the casing comprising a retaining section defining a retaining space for retaining the second end of the retainer in place, wherein the retaining section of the compartment of the casing comprises two peg holes each having a peg anchored therein, each said peg being partially exposed in the compartment to thereby define the retaining space between exposed portions of the pegs; and
means for retaining the retainer in place, the retaining means having a first end attached to the second end of the retainer and a second end retained in the retaining space;
wherein when a rotational force applied to the casing is smaller than an engaging force between the retaining section of the casing and the second end of the retaining means, the retainer and the rod are turned to thereby turn the fastener; and
wherein when a rotational force applied to the casing is greater than the engaging force between the retaining section of the casing and the second end of the retaining means, the casing slides while the retainer and the rod are not turned.
2. The wrench as claimed in claim 1, wherein the exposed portion of each said peg is smaller than a half of said peg.
3. The wrench as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first end of the retainer has a transverse through-hole through which the rod extends.
4. The wrench as claimed in claim 3, wherein the rod comprises an embossed section that is securely engaged in the transverse through-hole of the retainer.
5. The wrench as claimed in claim 1, with the retaining means comprising an elastic element and a ball, wherein the second end of the retainer comprises a receptacle for receiving the elastic element and the ball, the ball being biased by the elastic element into the retaining space between the exposed portions of the pegs.
6. The wrench as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a lid for enclosing the compartment of the casing.
7. The wrench as claimed in claim 1, with the retaining means comprising an elastic element and a cylinder, wherein the second end of the retainer comprises a receptacle for receiving the elastic element and the cylinder, the cylinder being biased by the elastic element into the retaining space between the exposed portion of the pegs.
8. A wrench comprising:
a rod comprising a driving portion on an end thereof for engaging with a fastener;
a member securely engaged with the rod to move therewith;
a casing comprising a compartment for accommodating the member;
means for retaining the member in place relative to the casing, the retaining means having an engaging force between the member and the casing, with the casing comprising a section defining a space where the retaining means is located; and
a lid for enclosing the compartment of the casing, wherein the lid comprises a hole through which the rod extends;
wherein when a rotational force applied to the casing is smaller than the engaging force, the retainer and the rod are turned to thereby turn the fastener; and
wherein when a rotational force applied to the casing is greater than the engaging force, the casing slides while the retainer and the rod are not turned.
9. The wrench as claimed in claim 8, with the member comprising a retainer having a first end securely engaged with the rod to move therewith and a second end, with the compartment accommodating the retainer, the space defining a retaining space for retaining the second end of the retainer in place, with the retaining means having a first end attached to the second end of the retainer and a second end retained in the retaining space;
wherein when the rotational force applied to the casing is smaller than the engaging force between the section of the casing and the second end of the retaining means, the retainer and the rod are turned to thereby turn the fastener; and
wherein when the rotational force applied to the casing is greater than the engaging force between the section of the casing and the second end of the retaining means, the casing slides while the retainer and the rod are not turned.
10. The wrench as claimed in claim 9, wherein the section of the casing comprises two spaced protrusions that are formed on a wall defining a portion of the compartment.
11. The wrench as claimed in claim 10, with the retaining means comprising an elastic element and a cylinder, wherein the second end of the retainer comprises a receptacle for receiving the elastic element and the cylinder, the cylinder being biased by the elastic element into the retaining space between the protrusions.
12. The wrench as claimed in claim 1, wherein the casing comprises a recessed portion surrounding the compartment, further comprising a lid mounted in the recessed portion for enclosing the compartment.
13. The wrench as claimed in claim 12, wherein the lid comprises a hole through which the rod extends.
14. The wrench as claimed in claim 1, wherein the casing comprises a positioning hole for receiving another end of the rod.
15. The wrench as claimed in claim 14, further comprising a ball mounted between an end face of said another end of the rod and an end wall defining a portion of the positioning hole.
16. The wrench as claimed in claim 1, wherein the casing comprises a grip portion.
17. The wrench as claimed in claim 8, wherein the casing comprises a recessed portion surrounding the compartment, with the lid mounted in the recessed portion.
18. The wrench as claimed in claim 9, wherein the first end of the retainer has a transverse through-hole through which the rod extends.
19. The wrench as claimed in claim 18, wherein the rod comprises an embossed section that is securely engaged in the transverse through-hole of the retainer.
20. The wrench as claimed in claim 9, with the retaining means comprising an elastic element and a ball, wherein the second end of the retainer comprises a receptacle for receiving the elastic element and the ball, the ball being biased by the elastic element into the retaining space.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a wrench with a fixed maximum operational torque to prevent damage to the object secured by a fastener driven by the wrench.

2. Description of the Related Art

FIG. 10A of the drawings illustrates a conventional wrench 1 having a hexagonal driving portion with six planar faces for engaging with six faces of a hexagonal groove in a top face of a fastener. However, slide tends to occur between the planar faces of the driving portion of the wrench 1 and the faces of the fastener. FIG. 10B illustrates a so-called TORX wrench 3 having plural arcuate faces for engaging with corresponding arcuate faces in a top face of a fastener. Such a TORX wrench 3 is used to tighten important parts of a car and cutting tools. As illustrated in FIG. 11, a blade 7 is tightened to a cutting tool 5 by a bolt 6. However, it was found that the expensive blade 7 tends to be damaged when the bolt 6 is excessively tightened. However, the blade 7 could fly away and thus cause injury if the bolt 6 is not tightened to the desired extent.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a wrench with a fixed maximum operational torque such that when the torque applied by the user is greater than the maximum operational torque, the wrench slides and the fastener is not turned. Thus, damage to the object secured by the fastener is prevented.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a wrench with a fixed maximum operational torque that can be altered in response to the actual use.

A wrench comprises a rod comprising a driving portion for engaging with a fastener, a retainer having an end securely engaged with the rod to move therewith, and a casing comprising a compartment for accommodating the retainer. The casing comprises a retaining section defining a retaining space for retaining the other end of the retainer in place. When a rotational force applied to the casing is smaller than an engaging force between the retaining section of the casing and a retaining device that is attached between the retaining section and the retainer, the retainer and the rod are turned to thereby turn the fastener. When a rotational force applied to the casing is greater than the engaging force, the casing slides while the retainer and the rod are not turned.

Other objects, advantages, and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wrench in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the wrench in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along plane A—A in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating use of the wrench in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along plane B—B in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 5, illustrating operation of the wrench in a direction.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 5, illustrating operation of the wrench in a different direction.

FIG. 8 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 3, illustrating a modified embodiment of the wrench in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 5, illustrating the modified embodiment of the wrench in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 10A is an end view of a conventional hexagonal wrench.

FIG. 10B is an end view of a conventional TROX wrench.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view, partly cutaway, of a cutting tool.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a wrench in accordance with the present invention generally includes a rod 10, a retainer 30, and a casing 40. The rod 10 comprises a first end 11 and a second end 12 with a driving portion 13 for engaging with a fastener. In this embodiment, the driving portion 13 is shaped as a TROX type wrench. The rod 10 further has an embossed section 14 adjacent to the first end 11 thereof.

The retainer 30 comprises a first end 31 and a second end 32. A transverse through-hole 33 is defined in the first end 31 of the retainer 30 and securely engages with the embossed section 14 of the rod 10 to move therewith. A receptacle 34 is defined in an end face of the second end 32 of the retainer 30 for receiving a retaining means 35 comprised of an elastic element 351 and a ball 352.

The casing 40 comprises a first end 41 and a second end 42. A grip portion 49 is formed on the second end 42 of the casing 40 for manual turning operation. A compartment 43 is defined in the casing 40 for accommodating the retainer 30. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 5, a wall defining a portion of the compartment 43 and facing the retainer 30 comprises two peg holes 44 each having an opening (not labeled) communicated with the compartment 43. A steel peg 46 is anchored in each peg hole 44. As illustrated in FIG. 5, a portion not greater than a half of each steel peg 46 is exposed in the compartment 43. And a retaining space 46′ is defined between the exposed portions of the steel pegs 46 that forms a retaining section. Normally, the ball 352 is biased by the elastic element 351 to enter and thus be retained in the retaining space 46′. In this embodiment, the ball 352 presses against the exposed portions of the steel pegs 46 under the action of the elastic element 351.

Referring to FIG. 3, a positioning hole 45 is defined in the first end 41 of the casing 40 and communicated with the compartment 43. The first end 11 of the rod 10 is received in the positioning hole 45 of the casing 40, and a ball 47 is provided between an end face of the first end 11 of the rod 10 and an end wall defining a portion of the positioning hole 45 of the casing 40 to provide a smooth rotation therebetween. A recessed portion 48 surrounds the compartment 43 of the casing 40, and a lid 50 is mounted in the recessed portion 48 for enclosing the compartment 43. The lid 50 has a hole 51 through which the rod 10 extends.

Referring to FIG. 4, when driving a TROX type bolt 61 for a cutting tool 60, the driving portion 13 of the second end 12 of the rod 10 is engaged with the bolt 61, and the casing 40 is then turned by means of gripping and turning the grip portion 49. Referring to FIG. 5, when the rotational force applied to the wrench is smaller than a predetermined engaging force between the ball 352 and the steel pegs 46, the retainer 30 and the rod 10 turn together with the casing 40 to thereby drive the bolt 61. When the rotational force applied to the wrench is greater than the predetermined engaging force between the ball 352 and the steel pegs 46, the casing 40 slides relative to the ball 352. Thus, the casing 40 is moved to a position shown in FIG. 6 or FIG. 7; namely, the ball 352 is disengaged from the retaining space 46′, but the retainer 30 and the rod 10 are not turned. As a result, the bolt 61 is not turned. The casing 40 returns to its original position shown in FIG. 5 under the action of the elastic element 351 when the force is released.

It is noted that the engaging force, which largely depends on the elastic coefficient of the elastic element 351, determines a maximum operational torque for turning the retainer 30 and the rod 10. Namely, when the torque applied to the casing 40 is smaller than the maximum operational torque, the retainer 30 and the rod 10 are turned, and when the torque applied to the casing 40 is greater than the maximum operational torque, the retainer 30 and the rod 10 are not turned. During tightening of the bolt 61, the bolt 61 before being tightened is turned by means of applying a torque smaller than the maximum operational torque. When the bolt 61 is tightened, the torque required to turn the casing 40 would be greater than the maximum operational torque such that the casing 40 slides. Thus, the user will notice the sliding motion of the casing 40 and be aware of tightening of the bolt 61. The maximum operational torque can be altered by means of selecting elastic elements of different elastic coefficients.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a modified embodiment of the invention, wherein the steel pegs 46 forming the retaining section are replaced by two protrusions 432″ that are integrally formed with the wall defining the portion of the compartment 43 of the casing 40. Thus, the protrusions 432″ and the casing 40 can be made by means of injection molding. In addition, the ball 352 is replaced by a cylinder 352″ that can also be made of plastic material.

Although the invention has been explained in relation to its preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that many other possible modifications and variations can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6886434May 22, 2003May 3, 2005Bobby HuWrench with a fixed maximum operational torque
US7281457Jan 11, 2006Oct 16, 2007Bobby HuWrench with adjustable maximum operational torque
US7475619Apr 22, 2005Jan 13, 2009The Stanley WorksOver torque proof socket
US7581471Apr 19, 2006Sep 1, 2009The Stanley WorksOver torque proof socket
US20130240770 *Apr 30, 2013Sep 19, 2013Fisher Controls International LlcLoad relieving stem connectors
DE102006003164B4 *Jan 23, 2006Nov 10, 2011Bobby HuSchraubenschlüssel mit maximalem Betätigungs-Drehmoment
Classifications
U.S. Classification81/467, 81/478, 464/37, 464/35, 81/480
International ClassificationB25B23/142
Cooperative ClassificationB25B23/1427, B25B23/1422
European ClassificationB25B23/142B, B25B23/142B2
Legal Events
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May 11, 2011FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
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Year of fee payment: 4